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Tops Travel to Indiana Looking For a Power Five Victory



Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics

Football

Game 3

WKU (2-0, 0-0 C-USA) at Indiana (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 17
kick-off: 11 a.m. CT
Location: Bloomington, Ind. (Memorial Stadium)
Watch: Big Ten Network
Listen: WKLX (SAM 100.7 FM) and WWKU (ESPN Radio 102.7 FM) in Bowling Green
Social: @WKUFootball | @WKUSports
Game Notes: WKU | Indiana
Game Day Information: Live Stats


NOTES AND QUOTES

  • Western Kentucky and Indiana have met a total of four times on the gridiron with the Hoosiers claiming victory in all four meetings. The Hilltoppers came close to knocking off Indiana a season ago on their home field but could not come away with the victory late as the Hoosiers held on to win, 33-31, in late September.
  • When the Hilltoppers and Hoosiers did battle in 2021, WKU set a new school record for attendance with 25,171 fans packed into Houchens-Smith Stadium on The Hill. This year’s game will likely produce an even bigger crowd as Indiana’s Memorial Stadium has a seating capacity that holds 52,626 fans.
  • WKU running back Davion Ervin-Poindexter will be wearing a different shade of red for this year’s meeting between WKU and Indiana after suiting up for the Hoosiers a season ago. Ervin-Poindexter played for Indiana from 2019-2021, seeing action for the Hoosiers during his final two seasons on the team. The Merrillville, Ind. native played in the game against the Hilltoppers a season ago but did not record any statistics. So far this year, Ervin-Poindexter has carried the ball 24 times for 90 yards and a touchdown. His best output from him was in WKU’s last game at Hawaii in which he carved 42 yards and a score.
  • Despite seeing success against various Power Five opponents, WKU has not defeated a team from the Big Ten since joining the ranks of the FBS in 2007. The Tops will be looking for their first Big Ten victory Saturday in Bloomington. In addition to the four meetings with Indiana, WKU has faced off against Illinois twice (2014, 2017), Wisconsin once (2018) and Michigan State a season ago since transitioning to college football’s highest level. The Tops’ final contest against a member of the Big Ten Conference as an FCS program came in 2001 when they made the trip to Wisconsin and fell to the Badgers by a score of 24-6.
  • In addition to running back Davion Ervin-PoindexterWKU linebacker Nathan Griffin is the other Hilltopper originally from the state of Indiana. Griffin is from St. Leon where he was a four-year starter at East Central HS. He led his team to a 43-9 record during that time, and racked up 182 total tackles (113 solo, 69 assisted) throughout his career while adding eight sacks, seven interceptions, three pass deflections and three fumble recoveries.

“We’re really excited for the opportunity to go get to play a good Indiana team. I know our guys are excited and just looking forward to that opportunity.”

Tyson Helton on the game against Indiana this week

“It’s a new season. Both teams have a new team with new guys playing for them. They’re a good football team. They’re doing a really good job. If you look at all three phases, they look pretty stout and pretty strong in all three phases, so it’s going to take our best game for sure to go win. But our guys are excited about the opportunity. We had a close one last year. If we can play well, I think we’ll match up well with them.”

-Helton on whether last year’s game against Indiana factors into this year’s matchup

“I’ve watched both games they’ve played, and again, they’re a good team. They’re doing a nice job. They scheme you up pretty good. They’ve got playmakers on both sides of the ball, so it will be challenging for us for sure, but we’re excited about the opportunity.”

-Helton on what he’s seen on film when watching Indiana

“They can rush four and get to the quarterback. They don’t have to bring pressure. And when they do bring pressure, they do a nice job disguising the blitzes to match the protection scheme. They scheme you up pretty good. Their front four is doing a pretty good job, and if you can get home with just your front four, it helps you in coverage. on the edges and inside with their three techniques and all those things. Our guys have done a nice job the first two games, but this will be a real test for our offensive line for sure.”

-Helton on Indiana’s defensive line


LAST TIME OUT

In its first ever visit to Hawaii, WKU came out on top in dominant fashion by a score of 49-17. The defense forced six turnovers on the night, including two interceptions by Kaleb Oliver and pick six courtesy of Juwan Jones. Offensively, quarterback austin reed led the way for the Tops by throwing for 271 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 43 yards and an additional score.


ABOUT INDIANA

The Hoosiers enter Saturday’s contest 2-0 and fresh off a 35-22 victory over Idaho. Connor Bazelak quarterbacks Indiana and has thrown for 527 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions in the team’s two wins. Running back Shaun Shivers leads the ground attack with 183 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while the duo of Cam Camper and DJ Matthews Jr. are Indiana’s leading receivers with 199 yards and 160 yards and two touchdowns, respectively. Defensively, linebacker Cam Jones leads the team with 19 total tackles, including one sack and one fumble recovery. The Hoosiers are coached by Tom Allen who is in his seventh season at the helm of the program and owns an overall record of 34-38.


HISTORY SERIES

WKU trails the all-time series with Indiana 0-4. The Hilltoppers and Hoosiers last met a season ago when Indiana visited Bowling Green and claimed a 33-31 victory in a game that came down to the final minutes. WKU set a new attendance record at that game with 25,171 fans at Houchens-Smith Stadium.


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